10 Multi-Lake Marathons Worth Traveling For | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Multi-lake marathons offer exceptional running experiences by scenic water bodies.
  • They combine the challenge of endurance running with the beauty of nature.
  • Expertly chosen, these marathons are complete stories set against picturesque backdrops.

Imagine running alongside crystal clear waters, the sound of your footsteps synchronizing with gentle waves.

It's not just a run; it's an experience.

Marathons are not merely races; they're adventures that beckon you to scenic paths by the lakes.

They offer an unrivaled combination of physical challenge and sensory delight, guiding runners through some of the most breathtaking landscapes.

As an expert in marathon events, we understand the irresistible allure of courses that wind past sparkling lakes.

You're looking for more than just a medal at the finish line—you're searching for a story to tell.

And that's exactly what you'll find at marathons that hug the shores of America's most stunning lakes.

These races provide not just a test of endurance but a feast for the eyes and the soul.

Table of contents


Lake Tahoe Marathon, California/Nevada

So, you're thinking about testing your endurance with a scenic run?

Why not consider the Lake Tahoe Marathon?

Running not just in California, but Nevada too—doesn't that sound like a double treat?

Imagine yourself weaving through paths with views of majestic alpine lakes like Fallen Leaf Lake and Cascade Lake.

It's not just about Lake Tahoe!

Get this, the marathon isn't your everyday run-of-the-mill race.

If you're up for a real test of determination, you can tackle the Tahoe Triple Marathon.

That's a whopping three marathons over three consecutive days, each day a fresh 26.2 miles to conquer.

And yes, that includes a grand finale with the regular Lake Tahoe Marathon event.

Trust me, the bragging rights are worth it.

  • Date: Mark your calendar for October 20!
  • Start Time: 8:00 AM sharp (Don't be late!)
  • Early Start Option: For those who want a head start, but remember, it's only those who begin at 8 AM that can vie for the age group awards.

Here's a cherry on top for the truly adventurous.

Have you ever heard of the Super Tahoe Triple?

That’s two marathons plus a 72.2-mile ultra marathon, beginning with a 26.2-mile Cal-Neva Marathon, followed by the Lakeside Marathon, and wrapping up with the Midnight Express Ultra Marathon.

Don’t forget, all you night runners need to light up with reflective gear and flashers.

Safety first, right?

Are you ready to lace up your shoes, breathe that crisp mountain air, and dig deep for those elevation changes?

Trust me, with the lush scenery as your backdrop, you’ll have stories to tell for a lifetime.

See you at the starting line!

Grand Teton Half Marathon, Wyoming

Ever imagined running with postcard-worthy views in every direction?

Let me paint a picture for you: it’s June 1, 2024, and you’re toeing the line at the Grand Teton Half Marathon in gorgeous Jackson, Wyoming.

Why should you consider this race, you ask?

Well, for starters:

  • Scenic Course: You'll glide across a flat, paved path over the Snake River with pastoral scenes straight out of a painting.
  • Mountain Vistas: As you near the finish, the Grand Teton mountain range emerges, offering an awe-inspiring backdrop.
  • Lake Sights: Look around! Beyond the Tetons, you'll catch glimpses of the serene Jackson Lake and Jenny Lake.

The event doesn't just offer a half marathon; there's a 5K for those who prefer a shorter distance.

Plus, the race occurs on a weekend, May 31-June 1, which is perfect for a mini-vacation.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Date: June 1, 2024
  • Location: Jackson, WY
  • Terrain: Flat, paved roads (with a hint of well-packed dirt paths)

Thinking about registering?

This event tends to sell out quickly due to its popularity and limited entries.

As always, make sure to check all the event details on the official Vacation Races website or RunSignup to snag your spot.

And remember, it's not just about the race – it's the journey and those mountaintop moments you'll cherish forever.

See you at the starting line?

Adirondack Marathon, New York

Have you heard about the Adirondack Marathon in New York?

It's more than just a race; it's an experience wrapped in the vibrant hues of fall!

Every year, the Adirondack Mountains play host to this stunning marathon that's lovingly dubbed as the "Most Beautiful 26.2 miles." Imagine yourself running past the serene waters of Schroon Lake, Paradox Lake, and Eagle Lake.

Can you picture it yet?

  • When? The race takes place in late September, the perfect time to witness the fall foliage.
  • Where? Your journey starts and ends around the breathtaking Schroon Lake.

If you're not quite ready for the full marathon, don't worry.

There's a half marathon, and for team players, 2 & 4 Person Relays.

Got a competitive streak?

Try setting a new course record to get your name in the hall of fame.

And if you've got little runners in tow, the Kids Fun Run is a perfect 1K race for ages 4-12.

Talking about pre-race jitters or post-race celebrations, the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival has it all.

From the runner's Expo to the charming town of Chestertown hosting the 5K & 10K — there's a strong sense of community to be found.

  • Expo Location: Chestertown
  • 5K & 10K Timing: 9:30 a.m.

Let's not forget the Pace Bears!

Whether you're targeting a 3:30 or a 5:30 finish, these furry pacers are prepped to help you hit your goal.

Who doesn't want a high-five from a bear after a grueling race?

Why not write this down in your race calendar?

The Adirondack Marathon is where personal records are set against nature's backdrop.

Get ready to lace up and hit the road where the air is as fresh as your runner's high will be!

Lake Placid Marathon, New York

Have you set your sights on multi-lake marathons that offer not just a run, but an experience?

The Lake Placid Marathon in New York should be at the top of your list!

Nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks, this marathon offers a route that hugs the shores of Mirror Lake and flaunts views of Lake Placid.

Picture this: you're starting on Main Street, right in the historic Olympic Village where athletes once brought home the gold in 1932 and 1980.

Feels pretty inspiring, doesn't it?

As you hit the pavement, the marathon route presents a blend of flat stretches, rolling hills, and a couple of challenges with an elevation gain of 1,393 feet.

Isn't that a great way to test your mettle?

What's more, you're in for scenic treats with mountain vistas, shaded areas, and open spaces.

The Half Marathon offers a single loop, while as a Marathon runner, you'll double back, soaking in more of that natural beauty.

Keep an eye out because you might just spot a class III trout stream along your journey!

  • Elevation Gain: 1,393 feet for the full marathon
  • Course: Double loop out and back for Marathon; single loop for Half Marathon
  • Scenery: Mountain views, open and shaded areas, Mirror Lake
  • Notable: Historic Olympic Village location

Ready to register and join others in this destination race?

What are you waiting for?

Lace up your running shoes, and let's get those legs moving through some of the most breath-taking landscapes New York has to offer.

Who knows, after conquering the Lake Placid Marathon, you might just feel like an Olympian yourself!

Twin Cities Marathon, Minnesota

Have you ever run a marathon that felt more like a scenic tour?

Well, if you haven't yet, you might want to add the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota to your list.

Known not just for its competitive spirit but also as the "Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America," this event will have you lacing up and racing past some breathtaking sights.

Picture this: you're jogging beside the shimmering waters of Lake of the Isles, then you dash past Lake Calhoun (Bde Maka Ska) with its bustling beach vibes, and just when you think it can't get any prettier, you spot the serene Lake Harriet.

Are you feeling the runner's high yet?

  1. Date & Time: Mark your calendar for Sunday, October 6, 2024, because that's when this spectacular race takes place.
  2. Race Details:
  1. Scenery: Urban lakes and colorful leaves at their peak.
  2. Weather: Layer up, as Minnesota’s fall can be a toss-up!

It's not only the paths and panoramas that make this marathon stand out.

The sense of community here is palpable, with cheers and support all the way.

Let's not forget, this marathon has been where champions are crowned; it's been the proud host of the U.S. Marathon Championships in both 2013 and 2014.

  • Training Programs: Offered by Run Minnesota, ensuring you're perfectly prepped for the day.
  • Size: Expect company, with thousands of runners joining you on this memorable 26.2-mile quest.

Whether you're trying to beat your personal best or simply aiming to complete the race, the Twin Cities Marathon delivers an experience that's both challenging and charming.

Oh, and if you're a first-timer, who knows?

You might just follow in the fleet steps of surprise winners like Tyler Pennell.

Ready to chase that finish line through the Land of 10,000 Lakes?

Lake Geneva Marathon, Wisconsin

Fancy a scenic run?

The Lake Geneva Marathon might just be what you're looking for!

Picture this: you, taking on a course that hugs the shimmering waters of Lake Geneva, surrounded by idyllic small-town vistas.

Doesn't that sound like a runner's dream?

Race Details:

  • Marathon: A certified, full-length marathon for the distance purists.
  • Half Marathon: New to the series, perfect for those looking to enjoy the views at half the distance.
  • 10K and 5K: Quicker races, but just as scenic, for speed enthusiasts.
  • Euro Cross-Country Marathon: 22 miles of trail running bliss.
  • Marathon Walk & 12-mile Kayak/8-mile Run Adventure Race: For those who love a varied challenge.


  • Certified Course: Rest assured, your efforts count toward your record.
  • Challenging Hills: Ready to test your calves and your will?
  • Indian Trail: End the marathon with a historically significant path.

Been training on hills?

You'll need that training here; the course is notorious for its elevation changes.

But hey, a little challenge makes the finish line that much sweeter, right?

And guess what?

If you're into multi-sport events, they've added an adventure race featuring kayaking and running—how cool is that?

You'll be joining a proud history; the marathon is in its 23rd year and shows no signs of slowing down.

Grab your running shoes, prep your playlist, and soak in that lakeside beauty—Wisconsin's waiting for you!

Green Lake Marathon, Wisconsin

Ever fancied a marathon that's not just about the miles but also the marvelous views?

Well, Green Lake Marathon in Wisconsin should be your next stop!

Imagine this: As you're pushing through the 13.1 challenging miles, you're rewarded with the serene sights of Green Lake and its neighboring water bodies.

Fancy that, huh?

Race Day Breakdown:

  • Date: August 31, 2024
  • Start Times: Half marathon at 7:30 AM, 10k and 5k at 8:00 AM
  • Registration: Open online until 7:00 AM race day
  • Packet Pickup: At The Club Room in Town Square, 3-5 PM the day prior or 6:00-7:15 AM on race day

But, what about the course itself?

Let’s talk terrain.

You'll be tackling a course known for its scenic beauty, winding alongside the shimmering Green Lake.

It's not often you get the chance to run past multiple lakes and ponds, soaking in that peaceful rural vibe Wisconsin is loved for.

Now onto the nitty-gritty:

  • Fees: The day of race prices are $85 for the half marathon, $50 for the 10K, and $40 for the 5K
  • Remember, if by some twist of fate the race is canceled, keep in mind that there are no refunds.

Feeling the motivation kick in?

Embrace the challenge and the beauty of the Green Lake Marathon.

Grab your running shoes, hydrate like you've never hydrated before, and get ready to enjoy one hill of a race.

Let's make those race day selfies flooded with scenic backdrops and proud smiles!

Finger Lakes 50s, New York

Ever imagined racing through a stretch of natural beauty that tucks away clear ponds and sprawling vineyards?

Set your sights on the Finger Lakes 50s!

Held in Hector, NY, within the serene expanse of the Finger Lakes National Forest, this is more than just a marathon—it's a trail-running feast for the soul. (And your running shoes!)

Whether you're a seasoned ultra-runner or a trail-racing newbie, there's a distance just for you.

Here's the lowdown:

  • 50 Mile: The ultimate challenge kicks off bright and early at 6:30 AM.
  • 50K: That's roughly 32.9 miles—for those who like a tough run, with a side of "I can still walk tomorrow."
  • 25K: A sweet 16.5 miles, starting at a leisurely 8:00 AM, so you can even hit snooze once (...or twice).

Curious about the course?

Picture this: winding trails through lush pines, passing open pastures with heart-stealing views, and sweet relief in shaded spots.

It's got hills, but they're the kind that tells great stories at your next dinner party.

What's even cooler?

The 50-mile distance has the honor of being the New York State RRCA championship race for the ultra category.

Lace-up, because on Saturday, June 29, 2024, you could be grooving through greenery and bragging rights!

While you're absorbing the countryside charm, remember, you're part of something bigger—the Finger Lakes Runners Club Trail Circuit, a community passionate about pounding dirt, not just pavement.

So, got your calendar?

Mark it.

Join it.

Run it.

Will I see you there, ready to bask in the majesty of the Finger Lakes and earn some serious boasting rights?

You betcha!

Vermont City Marathon, Vermont

Ever thought about running a marathon where you can soak in panoramic views and breathe in fresh, New England air?

Well, you're in for a treat with the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington!

Picture yourself cruising through a picturesque course that includes waterfront paths along stunning Lake Champlain.

Isn't that just a breath of fresh air?

Now here's the scoop on what you can expect:

  • Scenic Course: Immerse yourself in the best of Burlington. You'll travel from the bustling Church Street Marketplace all the way to the tranquil vibes of the Oakledge Park Relay Exchange Zone.
  • Music to Your Ears: Ever heard of musical motivation? At various points like Mile 10.1/14.5 and Mile 13.1, live bands from funk to folk will keep your spirits high and your feet moving.
  • Course Layout: It's mostly a flat terrain, but get ready for a bit of a challenge with some rolling hills. Are you ready to tackle the uphill sections between miles 6 and 7, and again at 19 and 20?

Feeling intrigued?

Here's a little more info:

  • Flat and Fast: This course is known for its flat profile, setting the stage for some seriously impressive finish times.
  • Community Vibes: This race is all about community spirit, celebrating everyone who's helped make the marathon a success since 1989.

Oh, and did I mention the on-course aid?

You'll find 13 stations waiting to refresh you with water and Gatorade, plus some gels and food around miles 8 and 21.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Burlington bike path that offers 7 miles of lakeside views.

So, lace-up and get ready to experience one of the most scenic runs you could imagine!

Northwoods Trail Marathon, Wisconsin

Let's lace up for a journey, shall we?

Imagine a run where every step brings a new vista of Wisconsin's serene beauty - welcome to the Northwoods Trail Marathon!

Nestled in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, this race isn't just a test of endurance; it's a nature tour.

Course Highlights:

  • Scenery: You'll be enveloped by lush greenery as you wend past lakes and streams.
  • Terrain: Get ready for about 21 miles of gravel path, a dash of dirt (half a mile), and a sprinkle of asphalt (almost four miles), making this marathon both challenging and diverse.
  • Final Stretch: Cross the finish line on the iconic trestle in Minocqua—triumph awaits!

Are you the type who relishes an athletic escapade?

You've found your calling.

With a majority of the course on Bearskin/Hiawatha trails, your marathon memories will be replete with natural splendor.

Got a competitive streak?


You might just be crossing the finish a stone's throw away from the charming Billy Bob's Sports Bar on County Road L.

Race Snapshot:

  • Date: Mark your calendars! Pull out your best running socks in 2024.
  • Location: The heart of Northwoods, starting near Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

Okay, truth time: Are you planning a marathon vacation?

Why settle for the usual when you can have a story to tell?

Hit the Northwoods Trail Marathon and let your running shoes taste the wild side of Wisconsin.

This is one race where you can truly say the journey is as rewarding as the finish.

Don't just run—explore!